CLAIBORNE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, IN THE MEXICAN WAR – 1846
Men Who Served (incomplete listing)
Seventh U. S. Infantry – Major Earl Van Dorn
Quitman Riflemen – Captain Richard Parkinson; Orderly Sergeant William D. Sayer
Claiborne Guards – Captain Henry T. Ellett; 1st Sergeant W. H. Jacobs
1st Regiment Mississippi Riflemen – Thomas White
2nd Regiment Mississippi Riflemen – John H. Truly, John Hall, James M. McDonald, Charles Maxwell
*Not of Claiborne County –
The above list was taken from Claiborne County, Mississippi: The Promised Land by Katy McCaleb Headley, pub. 1976 by the Port Gibson Historical Society.
Battle of Monterey
from Our Army at Monterey by Thomas Bangs Thorpe, pub. by Carey and Hart, 1848, Philadelphia, pgs. 59-60.
“On arriving at the
captured redoubt, both men and officers were ordered to protect themselves,
by lying flat upon the ground, under cover of a slight embankment. Here,
although exposed to bullets and shells, they remained until ordered into the
fort. That was a dark moment in the history of the first day's assault on
Monterey, when Col. Garland returned. Very many of the flower of the army,
both regulars and volunteers, had been cut down. The First Division that had
in the morning so proudly entered the city, was thinned in numbers, and
surrounded by the dead and dying.
Gen. (Zachary) Taylor had, throughout the day, been in the thickest of the fight ; coolly, on foot, he directed the different movements, but at this time had remounted his horse. His face was noticed to wear an expression that told too plainly how deeply he felt the responsibility of his situation. …a body of Lancers, who had been stationed on the opposite side of the river, advanced to within six hundred yards of the captured battery, and commenced a destructive fire with their escopets, which wounded several of our men. Gen. Taylor ordered Ridgely to get a howitzer in position and give them a few shells ; this order was promptly obeyed. At the third discharge a shell exploded in their very midst, killing horses and men, and causing them to fly in panic, a cheer from our side accelerating their speed. A body of Mexican sharp shooters advanced on the right, and commenced firing from that point. Capt. Cheever's company of Claiborne Volunteers, attached to the Fourth Infantry, was ordered to drive them back. This was done, although in the face of a raking fire from the fort.”
“The Claiborne Volunteers occupied the distillery, from the walls of which, the sentinel, as he walked his lonely rounds, by the light of the Mexican rockets that continually hissed through the air, to prevent surprises from a night attack, saw the enemy at his feet, looking mysterious and grim. So closed, to the first and volunteer divisions, the memorable day of the twenty-first. On that day also had been witnessed a scene which has no precedent in military history. The Commander-in-chief was in the fiercest of the fight; where poured the thickest iron and copper hail, there was he seen apparently ignorant of danger; and wherever he appeared, new energies were created ; the faltering column was nerved to giant strength, the remnant of a gallant company forgot its losses and pressed on ; while officers who had nobly led their men, and seen them fall around them, under the sagacious eye of their great leader, aroused themselves to new exertions.” (pg. 62)
News from the War
Raymond Gazette (Raymond, MS) Sept. 25, 1846
Disbanded Volunteers - The 1st Regiment of Texas Riflemen, to which the Claiborne Volunteers belonged, were disbanded at Camargo, on the 28th ult., by an almost unanimous consent of the Texans. The Claiborne Volunteers, however, with a few of the Texans , re-enlisted and received marching orders for Monterey, about the 2nd inst. Only 17 of the Claiborne boys left the company, they being sick and not able to march, several of them having returned, and they look as though "hard times" resided on the Banks of the Rio Grande. We learned that much sickness prevailed among them, and two of the Volunteers, William Watson and Price McGrew have died. - From all appearances, those that went on will see the "Elephant" to their satisfaction. - Port Gibson Herald, 18th inst.
Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette (Natchez, Miss.) Nov. 14, 1846
“The Claiborne Volunteers who left this country in May last, to join the Army of the Occupation, have returned, and are in fine health and spirits. The deep-mouthed cannon, with its harmless thunder, saluted them upon their approach to town, and our citizens met them with a cordial shake of the hand, and with hearty congratulations upon their safe return….They were in the thickest of the battle during the three days fight that resulted in the capture of Monterey …and not one of them who left this county was among the killed or wounded. Our citizens are preparing to give them a public dinner next week, as a substantial demonstration of the high regard which their gallant conduct has secured. We congratulate the readers of the (Port Gibson) Herald upon the return of its editor (W. H. Jacobs) and hope, by next week, he will be recovered from the fatigue of his duties upon the tented field, and be prepared to exchange the sword for the pen.”
submitted by Sue B. Moore